For their second meeting against Argentina, Belgium regained their feelings by offering a solid and complete performance. A 3rd success in the Pro League which punctuates in the most beautiful way this winter preparation on the South American continent.
Following their defeat on Saturday, the Belgian players wanted to correct the situation during their reunion with the Leones. But unlike the day before, the Lions began the exchanges with much more aggressiveness and envy. They were present in the duels and they managed to find solutions more easily to get out of defence and to bring danger in front of the opposing goal. The end of the first quarter took place in the Argentinian circle with 8 pc in a row, the last of which was converted while powerful by Alexander Hendrickx. The second quarter of an hour took place in the same way even if the local team obtained one or the other possibility but Loic Van Doren was vigilant or saw Leandro Tollini’s attempt, on penalty, come close to the amount of his goal.
From the start of the second period, Belgium did not relax their grip on the game. And it was the request of Michel van den Heuvel who wanted as much energy in the duels but also a little more lucidity when entering the circle. But over the minutes, the Argentines regained their footing and tried to pick up the score. The Lions tried to maintain control and were vigilant even if the exchanges were increasingly tense. In the 55th minute, they obtained a new penalty (the 11th) and Loïck Luypaert placed a flat sleeper between the legs of the goalkeeper, Tomas Santagio (2-0).
A return to the basics to reconnect with victory
“For this second duel, we have truly returned to the foundations of our game,” said John-John Dohmen straight away. “We capitalized on what has always been our strengths, such as ball circulation or defensive organization. On Saturday, we had exposed ourselves a lot and we had badly managed the counter-attacks. This Sunday, we were better in place and the Argentinians got very few chances. These 2 meetings were not really trying because our adversaries did not put much rhythm in the debates. It was therefore not easy to manage mentally because, when they did not have the ball, they adopted a wait-and-see position. Besides that, the arbitration was complicated. Besides, I don’t understand how one can play a match of this level with 2 Argentinian referees”.
The main thing was, above all, to reconnect with victory, as confirmed again by the Brabant midfielder who will be back in Belgium on Tuesday, like the rest of the team. Obviously, Pro League results matter. For confidence, it was imperative to win after 2 defeats. So everyone agrees that the process is very long and that it is not a drama either to lose one or the other meeting. The outcome of the course is very positive. We worked a lot and the group is in great physical shape. And after 10 days of rest, we will continue the preparation for 4 days a week. It is the will of the staff. And we are all well aware that to get somewhere, this busy schedule is necessary. To see now how to arrange it on our side to make it as optimal as possible as in terms of journeys.
A third success, which makes it possible to conclude this winter internship ideally and which especially relaunches the Red Lions’ season in the Pro League after 2 consecutive setbacks. The next meeting in the world competition is set for May 18 with the arrival of Spain, in Antwerp.